In describing the current state of modern scholarship on Islamic legal theory, this introductory chapter explains the dominant conceptions and misconceptions about the genre. Through a vignette and theoretical examples, it explains how legal theorists navigated rigid historical precedents to argue for new ways of justifying inherited law. These justifications affect how law should ideally be applied, and feed into syllogisms that operate by what C. S. Peirce calls ‘abductive logic’. Taken together, these arguments form narratives that describe an ideal world in which God's presence is manifested through jurisprudence. The chapter also outlines the remainder of the books and its structure.
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